The WiseJack Man's Cookbook: Recipe for Shakshukah, or Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce



Gut Check spoke with St. Louis native and co-author Jon Harris about his new book, The WiseJack Man's Cookbook. Here is a sample recipe from his book.

  • Billy Brady Photography

When Jon Harris and long-time friend Ari Axelbaum both left St. Louis to go to college in New York, they realized that their bookshelf was lacking a major component that would've been most helpful to them: a cookbook made for the beginning home cook by the beginning home cook in simple, decipherable layman's terms. Their new cookbook does just that, offering simple, quick and easy recipes useful for everyday preparation and self-instruction.

"The best way to learn in the kitchen is simply by trying, and the cool thing about cooking is that you get immediate feedback," says Harris. "We'd really like to build a brand around helping men and anyone else who doesn't want to spend a lot of time learning how to create good food."

Read on for a sample recipe from the cookbook. Visit The WiseJack Man's Cookbook website for more sample pages from the text. Harris, an advocate for cooking faster with less preparation, says this dish is a "nice, not so well known 'manly' recipe. I've made this many times for breakfast."

Shakshukah (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Ingredients: 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce 2 ounces olive oil 1 cup onion, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely chopped 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomato in juice 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 8 large eggs

Part 1: Choose a sauce pan with at least 4-inch tall sides, wide enough so that the sauce and tomatoes fill the pan at least 2 inches deep. Heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic in the pan, stirring, until it starts to sizzle. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and turn the heat to low. Cook 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the canned tomatoes, including their juice and the sauce, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the remaining ingredients (other than the eggs) and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Part 2: Turn the heat to low. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into the sauce, being careful not to break the yolks. Try to drop each egg in its own space, not on top of the prior one. Make sure each egg is mostly submerged in the sauce. Turn up the temperature just enough to bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes for soft-yolked eggs, 8 or 9 for hard-yolked. Spoon two eggs, with some sauce, into each of 4 bowls. Serve with toast and crisp potatoes. Choose a chunky, high-quality brand of pasta sauce. The overly thick, pasty tomato sauces work poorly for this recipe.

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